An Iowa landscape contractor is accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill a former business associate and his family. It’s the second time he’s alleged to have tried this, and foiled both times when the ‘hit men’ turned out to be cops.
Police say that Justin L. DeWitt, 36, of North Liberty met with an undercover officer posing as a hit man. He gave the officer a $1,000 down payment and signed a contract agreeing to pay him $8,000 more for murdering Chad Williams and his family – four people in all.
Authorities discovered the plot when one of his landscape clients, a former convict named Robert Robi, tipped them off. He told police that DeWitt asked him if he’d ever killed anyone or knew someone who would. The man then turned over a recording he’d made of the two of them discussing the murder-for-hire plot.
Trial was delayed when the defense asked for a competency evaluation. DeWitt was found competent to stand trial, but the state is seeking a second competency hearing.
This isn’t the first time DeWitt’s been accused of trying to hire someone to kill for him. He’s also being charged with trying to have three other people, a Muscatine County Department of Public Safety agent and a North Liberty couple, killed back in December of 2016.
In that previous incident, DeWitt also met with an undercover agent he believed to be a hit man, and offered him $25,000 to murder all three.
He’ll face 100 years in prison if convicted of all four counts of attempted murder stemming from the first case, 25 years each. The failed 2016 plot could get him another thirty, should he be found guilty of all three counts of solicitation to commit murder, ten years apiece.